Japan’s Ryota Murata failed to defend his WBA middleweight world title on Saturday, losing to mandatory challenger Rob Brant of the United States by unanimous decision.
In his second defense and first world title fight abroad, Murata took several punishing blows from Brant over 12 rounds at the Park Theater, losing to his speedier opponent who entered as the WBA’s No. 3 contender.
Murata, the 2012 Olympic middleweight gold medalist, fell to a 14-2 record with 11 knockouts, while Brant now stands at 24-1 with 16 KOs.
In April, Murata made his first title defense in Yokohama where he beat former European middleweight champion Emanuele Blandamura by technical knockout in the eighth round.
He claimed the title last October after a rematch against France’s Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, whose previous decision over Murata was called into question due to controversial scoring.
All — Kyodo News+